ASG Senate passes legislation on underground tunnel use for students, confirms new Executive Board


Seeger Gray/The Daily Northwestern

Wednesday’s Associated Student Government Senate meeting was a packed house, as Senators and Executive Board members alike attended.

Pavan Acharya, Reporter

The Associated Student Government Senate unanimously passed legislation on underground campus tunnels for students Wednesday night.

“Underground Tunnels?!??!,” a piece of legislation sponsored by Weinberg Senator and newly-appointed Chief of Staff Stephanie Shields, calls on Northwestern to investigate the potential use of existing campus tunnels for undergraduates. NU currently has an underground steam tunnel from the Dearborn Observatory to Fisk Hall. 

“I recently learned of these underground tunnels, and I was really excited about the potential opportunity of that being used as a means of underground transportation for undergraduate students in the frigid temperatures of the winter,” Shields said.

The Weinberg sophomore said though she understood the legislation may be “unreasonable,” other universities already incorporate underground tunnel systems on their campuses. The University of Minnesota currently uses a system of tunnels and skyways called “The Gopher Way” for students to navigate campus buildings.

After the Senate unanimously passed “Underground Tunnels?!??!,” Shields introduced two other pieces of legislation. “Take a Faculty Member to Lunch” calls on NU to create a program to encourage students and faculty to build stronger relationships outside of class over a meal. Shields said these relationships with professors are important for students’ future job recommendations and internship and research opportunities. The legislation mandates NU to pay for the lunch. 

The “Norris Outdoors Credit” legislation asks the school to provide students a certain amount of money, which Shields said is yet to be determined, to use through the Norris Outdoors rental program each quarter. She said the policy would be similar to NU’s printing credit program.

Both pieces of legislation were tabled for next week’s meeting, but not without a nearly 10-minute debate on voting procedures.

Some ASG senators and Cabinet members said they were concerned voting immediately on legislation would not allow them ample time to speak to their constituents. 

“Creating the practice of confirming things based on the opinions of the people in this room is pretty antithetical to what ASG is supposed to do,” said Weinberg senior Margot Bartol, then-executive officer of accountability.

The Senate also introduced a piece of legislation calling to includeASG committee members in Senate meetings. 

The legislation was submitted by SESP Senator and junior Valeria Rodriguez who said if passed, the policy would take effect Fall Quarter.

“This rule would push committee members to attend one Senate meeting per quarter,” Rodriguez said.

The Senate also confirmed 15 members to the Executive Board. Members were sworn into office after their confirmations.

During the meeting, the Senate voted in Native American and Indigenous Student Alliance Senator and Weinberg sophomore Noah Blaisdell and NU Political Union Senator and Weinberg sophomore Zack Lori to the Rules Committee.

The Senate then voted in Rainbow Alliance Senator and Weinberg sophomore Hannah Travali-Peacock and College Democrats Senator and SESP sophomore Mary Slowinski to the Wild Ideas Committee. 

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @PavanAcharya02

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